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Thursday, May. 24, 2018
Dylan Rheault signs with the San Francisco Giants
by Randy Pascal

A year ago, almost to the day, the major league dreams of one-time Sudbury Minor Baseball Association product Dylan Rheault appeared squashed. Released by the Baltimore Orioles, the organization that had initially drafted the 6’9” right-handed pitcher a few years back, Rheault took a long hard look at his future.

“There was a point in my career, right after I got released, that I had kind of lost my love of the game,” he said earlier this month from Arizona, mere days after being offered a contract with the San Francisco Giants. “I was struggling, and it had really turned into a job.”

“I took two weeks off and came to the realization that this is what I wanted. I went to independent baseball last year, and my love of the game came back completely.” Two key components would fuel the turnaround.

First, Winnipeg Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney, who initially approached Rheault last summer, and when things did not work out in Manitoba, found a home for him with the Sioux City Explorers.

“Rick played in the Baltimore system, and he knew a lot of the coaches I had dealt with, but he’s just one of those guys that really cares about you as a person,” said Rheault. More importantly, from a technical aspect, the alumni of both Northeastern Public School and Lasalle Secondary would enjoy a breakthrough.

“Going into last season, I kind of tinkered with a new training program,” said Rheault. “I saw some results, but I really hadn’t done it to the level I needed to. So going into this past off-season, the plan was to do exactly what the program said, and I saw huge results.”

“As we started getting closer to spring training, I started getting more attention and I figured that it was likely that I was going to get a chance.” While only time will tell just how successful the final product might be, Rheault cannot say enough good things regarding the plan of action that he followed faithfully.

“It’s a weighted ball program, but it’s really designed to make your mechanics more efficient,” he noted. “One of my problems has been that my arm action wasn’t efficient, so this really cleaned it up. The end result is that I now throw the ball where I want to throw it a lot more, and it’s a lot harder.”

That much was evident, just last week, as Rheault took to a bullpen mound to perform for scouts from the Giants and a couple of other teams. “On that day, I was 95 (MPH) to 97, and my slider was 87 to 89, so that plays into a chance at a back end bullpen role,” said Rheault.

“I am working on my change-up, just a little bit, but my focus is my sinking fastball and my slider.” With the excitement of his new contract with San Francisco still discernible with every word he spoke, Rheault assessed his likely destination come April 1st.

“I really don’t know the landscape of the Giants organization, but just based on where I’ve been, I would think that high “A” ball is realistic,” he said. “But I don’t want to put a limit on myself.”

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